Skip to comments.Outside View: America's Ukraine folly
Posted on 01/06/2005 8:46:17 AM PST by Destro
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"The folly of ignoring Russia's vital interests may lead to a worst possible outcome - namely, a renewed civil war within Christendom. Three previous such civil wars in the 20th century -- World War I, World War II, and the Cold War -- have left our culture merely one contender among many, whereas a century ago it dominated the world. A fourth such conflict, in the form of a revived cold war, would truly be a gift from Allah to the warriors of the Prophet. Christendom would spend what little energy it has left fighting itself."
Wrong. The result has been a victory for the people of Ukraine.
Democracy IS important. This writer is trying to separate Christianity and democracy, which is rather foolish.
I didn't know Yushchenko was a muslim. Learn something new every day.
To play it your way - Why not? Our allies turned a blind eye to fraud and corruption so as to make friends with America when JFK was elected president, no?
The troubling part is, of course, that he is right, in a way. Nations have this habit of favoring practicality over morality, and so a useful tyrant is often better treated than an impractical fellow democracy.
But until now I had never read anyone saying it this bluntly ! In a cynical way, Mr Lind truly is refreshing.
It is easy to lose sight of the needs of the people of the Ukraine, when you simply look at the alliance with Russia. You are right on the mark with your comment, it was a victory for the people of the Ukraine that mattered.
We can't win. If Yanukovych had been allowed to steal the first election the left would have screamed that we did nothing and helped prop up a dictator for our our own purposes (as they are constantly reminding us with Saddam and a host of other regimes.) If we took the high road and supported a second election (which we did) we are told that the administration is ignoring vital American interests in allowing our "alliance" with Russia to suffer.
Here are the problems.
Our relationship with Russia is not great. It never has been. The Russians have taken the side of the French against the U.S. in too many recent actions. In our support of Yushchenko we were not the leading voice for democracy but rather one of many "concerned" nations, most of whom were located in Europe. In other words, we weren't alone.
The Russians still don't trust us and they probably never will. Their country is being run by a man who seems to be returning his nation to a type of retro-Soviet-style controls. It is certainly not on the path to becoming a Western style democracy. Our support of an illegitimately elected Russian puppet would have done nothing to help stop this slide back toward Russian dictatorship, and would merely have succeeded in helping keep millions of Ukrainians living under oppression.
If the US hadn't stood up for the Ukraine, the situation there would be far worse today. In all likelihood there would be a bloody civil war underway and tensions between Russia and America would be far more tense. Our actions may have helped diffuse a potentially horrendous situation.
The idea that Russia is the last line of defense for "Christendom" against the Muslim hordes does not hold water in the twenty first century. Al-Queda and it's immitators don't need to fight their way through Russia in order to attack Europe or America. They can take any of a score of flights from Riyadh or Cairo or Tehran and be in London in time to detonate a suicide bomb in the subway by rush hour.
And our lack of warm friendship with Russia will neither entice the Russians into joining the Muslim world or dampen the Russian-American cooperation in fighting the Islamist threat. Remember, they hate radical Islamists perhaps more than we do, as they have lost far more people in the fight against Islam in Chechnya and elsewhere. Don't forget the abomination that took place against hundreds of Russian schoolchildren last fall. The Russians won't. They know who their real enemy is.
Even the concept of Christendom itself is outdated. With the exception of the Vatican, there really is little left of the Christian worldview in Europe today. If Russia is defending "Christendom" in Europe, it is defending a largely dead and rotting shell. "Christendom" seems to have packed it's bags and moved it's base of operations across the pond. If this really is a fight of Christianity against Islam as the author suggests, Osama needs to redouble his efforts and attack America if he wants to strike those of us who truely follow the Christian God.
I'm sorry, but Lind is hypocritical and wrong on this one. If America believes that democracy is the best thing for Iraq and Afghanistan in the Middle East, because democracy everywhere is our best defense for American interests, then we are right to defend democracy in the Ukraine. It is the right thing for America because it is the right thing!
Ah, an interesting and intriguing comparison here. It is a fact that Kennedy's election was badly tainted, and smacked of Maffia influence in some States. I'll point a few significative differences, though, like :
- Kennedy did not ask Khrouchtchev (or Mac Millan or de Gaulle) to intervene either diplomatically or militarily to ensure his victory.
- I don't remember the disgruntled voters sieging government buildings (or Democratic headquarters) and appealing to the world's public opinion. In fact, Nixon himself conceded victory to Kennedy.
- I don't remember Nixon being poisoned either.
The people of the Eastern Ukraine who want nothing to do with the EU do not feel that it is a victory - but they don't count do they?
Also, why do you not assume The "Russian" side poisoned Yushchenko? The type of poison used makes it more likely the plotters wanted the man to be alive and martyred and too sock to rule and thus leaving somene else in charge, a likely scenario.
We have a federal system - thus the minority view of Kerry states is protected and has some power in the Senate. The Ukraine is a Parl. system - majority rule - no protection or consideration to the so called minority parties. Ponder that and come again.
Christendom has ALWAYS fought among itself. If you really look at the history of Europe, it was only after the small northern European nations honed their skills at war between the end of the Crusades and 1600 by fighting each other incessantly and barely holding the line against the first wave of islamfascism, that they then turned on the world at large and began overrunning the rest of the world. Military technology and tactics were developed that the islamics and everyone else could not match.
Lind suffers from craniorectosis. Letting Putin manipulate the Ukraine in an effort to reconstruct the Soviet Union -- even helping him -- is so the opposite of being in US interests. It's not in US interests to permit Russia to increase its influence in South America by building a successor to the soon-to-be-deceased Castro regime -- in the form of Chavez' dictatorship in Venezuela. Russia backed Saddam Hussein. Russia didn't exactly work against us in Afghanistan, but hoped we'd fail. Russia (along with France and Germany) opposed the US during the supposed debate in the UNSC, in the run-up to the liberation of Iraq.
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